Lin scores 24 as Hornets rally to beat Cavaliers 106-97


Associated Press=
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Jeremy Lin scored 24 points and the Charlotte Hornets rallied in the second half to beat the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers 106-97 on Wednesday night.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and three other players finished in double figures for the Hornets, who overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to snap a four-game losing streak against the Cavaliers.

Marvin Williams added 16 points, Frank Kaminski had 15 off the bench and Nicholas Batum scored 10 for Charlotte, which trailed 58-49 at halftime. Playing without ailing point guard Kemba Walker, the Hornets outscored Cleveland 33-17 in the third quarter to take an 82-75 lead and went on to lead by as many as 15 late in the fourth.

Kyrie Irving had 26 points and LeBron James added 23 for the Cavaliers, who had won five straight. J.R. Smith scored 14 and Kevin Love 12.

Irving gave the Cavaliers their final lead, hitting a layup with 6:36 left in the third quarter that put Cleveland up 69-67. Lin followed with a three-point play 28 seconds later to put the Hornets ahead to stay.

Charlotte’s biggest lead came with less than 5 minutes remaining, when Kidd-Gilchrist knocked down a jumper to put the Hornets up 98-83. The Cavaliers got no closer than six the rest of the way.

There were nine lead changes and 11 ties in a back-and-forth first half before a late run put the Cavaliers in front by nine.

Charlotte took its biggest lead of the first half late in the second quarter, going up 47-43 on Kaminsky’s layup with 4:23 remaining. But the Cavaliers closed the period with a 15-2 spurt.

Cleveland opened the run with Tristan Thompson’s tip-in with 4:07 left, took the lead at 50-48 on James’ jumper with 1:35 remaining and capped it with Smith’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer.


Cavaliers: Cleveland is 5-2 since Tyronn Lue replaced David Blatt as head coach on Jan. 22. . G Matthew Dellavedova was inactive with a sore left hamstring.

Hornets: Walker sat out with a sore left knee, the first game he’s missed this season. . Batum (strained right toe), center Cody Zeller (sore right shoulder) and guard Jeremy Lamb (sprained right toe) returned to action, with Zeller and Batum starting.


Cavaliers: Visit the Celtics on Friday night.

Hornets: Host the Heat on Friday night.